Arts festival set programme of events

Scottish Opera 'lPhoto by Jamie Simpson/Herald & Times) - JS
Scottish Opera 'lPhoto by Jamie Simpson/Herald & Times) - JS

Opera, folk, classical and world music and award-winning theatre are on the bill at this year’s Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival.

Events kick off in the Stewartry with Normal/Madness, Kidder Theatre’s critically-acclaimed humorous and heart-breaking production focusing on living with schizophrenia. The performance will be staged at Balmaclellan village hall on Friday, 22 May.

At the Fullerton Theatre, Castle Douglas, on Saturday, 23 May, Magnetic North theatre company showcases its award-winning drama, Walk at the Edge of the World, inspired by the act of walking.

It figures, is a celebration of dance, music and philosophy brought by French choreographer Chantal Breavoine, local dancers Sarah Jackets and Sarah Lockwood and musicians Al Collins and Harvey Lockwood on Sunday, 24 May at Kilquanity Children’s Village at 3pm and the Birchvale Theatre, Dalbeattie, at 7pm.

Dogstar Theatre’s celebrated Tailor of Inverness comes to Dalbeattie town hall on Wednesday, 27 May. This multi-award winning play is currently enjoying a stint on the New York theatre circuit and is an Edinburgh Festival favourite.

On Sunday, 24 May, Scottish Opera wheels into Threave Gardens, Castle Douglas, with a trio of mini operas specifically created for five to eight-year-olds. Children will adore the magical puppetry, story-telling, music, animation and film of Horse and Bamboo Theatre’s take on the timeless classic Red Riding Hood. They will appear at Cresset Hall, Loch Arthur, Beeswing on the afternoon of Sunday, 31 May.

Music lovers are in for a wonderful treat when celebrated musician Gavin Marwick brings his mini folk festival to the stage of Castle Douglas town hall on Sunday, 24 May Journeyman Spectacular must be seen to be appreciated – it is a phenomenal music experience comprising short sets of ten performers and a constantly changing musical line-up.

More music comes from the magnificent Scottish Chamber Orchestra will delight classical music lovers at Castle Douglas town hall with scores from Dvořàk, Mendelssohn, Bartók and Schubert on 28, May, while the Faed Gallery in Mill on the Fleet, will host Wigtownshire young singer-songwriter Zoe Bestel and friends on Friday, 29 May

The Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band comprise eight musicians from the villages surrounding Jaipur. They make up the brass core of this rousing ensemble on trumpet, saxophone, tuba, sousaphone and trombone, supplemented with clarinet and keyboard against an insistent background of percussion on side, bass and dhol drums. Lively, rousing and wonderfully entertaining, they come to Castle Douglas town Hall on 31 May.

Crossmichael Drama club will bring a performance of a Shakespeare comedy classic with a twist of Scots in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The Fullarton Theatre in Castle Douglas provides the stage for A Midsummer Nicht’s Dreme where the audience will hear the tale by England’s great bard spoken in broad Scots on 29 May.

Auchencairn Community Gardens is the setting for a celebration of the life and works of S R Crockett by the Galloway Raiders on 30 May. Tickets from the Midsteeple Box Office, Dumfries. Tel: 01387 253383. Festival website: